Mike Thomas of the Orlando Sentinel has a funny — and interesting — column. “Who’s taking on Grayson? Anyone? Hello?” on how Rep. Alan Grayson’s recent broadsides against the Republicans’ opposition to health care reform are playing out in his district vis a vis his potential challengers. Here’s a bite:
…The path to a long political career in Central Florida is win that first election, stay out of trouble and win the rest by default.
And now comes U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, who dynamited that model, calling Republicans knuckle-dragging obstructionists who want the sick to “die quickly.”
If this fits the definition of unstable and unhinged, it certainly seems to have served a very lucid purpose.
The Republicans are cowering in knock-kneed terror.
Potential challengers are dropping out with comical regularity.
The last credible challenger standing is former state Sen. Dan Webster, who is so conflicted he can’t say yes and he can’t say no.
So he ponders away while the Republicans cross their fingers for a savior.
“I don’t have to be in elective office,” Webster says. “I am happy coasting right now. It’s great.”
You don’t enter a race against someone like Alan Grayson with this mindset. You go into this race needing to be in Congress more than you need to breathe.
…The Republicans look like a bunch of Chihuahuas yapping at the Rottweiler behind the fence. But this Rottweiler not only is snarling and frothing at the mouth, it also went to Harvard.
…Consider state Rep. Steve Precourt.
Last week he boldly announced that Grayson was an “egomaniacal, socialist, loose cannon.”
Then he announced someone else would have to do something about it because he wasn’t running.
Yap. Yap. Yap.
Orange Mayor Rich Crotty once was considered the Republicans’ best hope. In June, Grayson released a seven-page letter explaining in detail how he would gut Crotty over Crotty’s leadership of the expressway authority.
In early July, Crotty said he had made a decision and would announce it shortly.
Days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months — until finally, the mayor gave us his verdict.
He could beat Grayson “handily.” But he wasn’t going to run.
Pretty slick. He declared victory and bowed out of the race.
Thomas goes on, mining this vein for chuckles. If Thomas proves to be right, Democrats may have found a new template for winning in centrist districts.